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Perplexed and confused;
Been doing a lot of research and listening on this subject of prostate cancer. Having been through it and having done all this research on it I still can not commit to one, solid, fact based, opinion about any of it. There just is no such thing. Those who claim to know the facts are disputed by others who also claim they have the facts. Any aspect of this disease is fraught with contradictions and differing opinions by experts and victims as well.
No decision one makes on this matter can be thought of as 100 percent correct. Those fortunate enough to have been treated and "cured" could very well have lived their full, uncomplicated, lives without any intervention. Those who have died from this disease may have been the ones who would have died from it after many years of treatment and suffering anyway had they chosen to treat it. It appears that it is the luck of the draw as to whether one dies from this disease or not. It is the severity and aggressiveness of the disease that dictates the outcome more than the treatment received or not received. Early detection may be the best weapon against the disease - but how early? When do we start to aggressively look for it and what problems do we cause by starting to look so early on the assumption that it will appear? Do we start taking out healthy prostates as a preventative measure since statistics show most will get it if they live long enough? Some of this is just plain silly I know but then a lot of things about this subject, as dealt with, are also. Cancer treatment is a multi-billion dollar industry. The word "Cancer" strikes fear into most of us. Those two facts will keep the many victims black mailed and in limbo by this disease forever until a real prevention is found for it.
Some diagnosed patients with lower to medium grade prostate cancer are more concerned with giving themselves the best chance of a cure/survival and are willing to take a chance on unwanted side effects. Others may want to be cured but are willing to take a bit of a chance on treatment in order to preserve their sex life and/or continence. Once you've established to yourself just where your priorities lie it is a much easier decision to make. Prostate removal obviously offers the greatest degree of potential cure but it has more side effects. Radiation and Brachy (radiation seeds ) are growingly effective also with some but potentially fewer side effects. Watchful waiting is cumbersome and pretty much "wishing and hoping" in my non medical opinion...but 'many' choose to do it and it works out for 'some'. Each patient has to come to grips with his own personal priority.
Having the prostate removed is not a cure all. We produce testosterone in other parts of our body which fuel the cancer. But as you and many others know that it is different for all of us. Removing prostate and testicles is not as widely used since the hormone treatment came around.